Thanks to the unusually cold blast of weather, the Comox Valley Extreme Weather Protocol has been activated for those who need shelter to stay dry and warm.
The Extreme Weather Shelter – available at 632 Pidcock Ave. in Courtenay (opens at 8 p.m.), was developed to assist the homeless at times of extreme weather.
The Government of B.C. is partnering with local governments and non-profit organizations to provide more than 640 winter shelter spaces and more than 800 extreme weather response shelter spaces in more than 40 communities.
“Everyone needs access to a safe and warm place to stay, especially during extreme weather conditions,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “The health and safety of people living on the street will always be a priority for our government and their well-being is especially concerning during the cold and wet winter months, when prolonged exposure to extreme conditions could be fatal.”
All regular winter shelter spaces will be open overnight every night, with many open 24/7, and providing meals and health services.
Extreme weather response shelters will be available when communities issue extreme weather alerts. Individual municipalities determine which weather conditions warrant an alert, and how many spaces to activate on a given night, depending on shelter capacity and the estimated need.
Both regular winter shelters and extreme weather response shelters will be in operation from Nov. 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018.
These spaces supplement the almost 2,000 permanent, year-round shelter spaces available throughout British Columbia.